After shoving match, Nabong says Jones flops all the time

MANILA, Philippines – Add Kelly Nabong to the list of San Miguel players whom TNT import Terrence Jones had a physical encounter with in the PBA Commissioner's Cup finals. Nabong and Jones were involved in a brief shoving match late in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series that saw ........»»

Category: newsSource: rappler rapplerAug 12th, 2019

PBA Finals By the Numbers: Who can stop Terrence Jones?

Game 1 of the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals went the way of TNT. It wasn’t even close. The top-ranked KaTropa demolished San Miguel Beer Sunday at the Big Dome, taking an early 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 titular showdown. As per customary in the PBA Finals, By the Numbers is back. Let’s break this one down.   7 Total number of triples connected by TNT in the opening quarter of these Finals. The KaTropa hot right from the start, using a barrage from rainbow country to create early separation from the Beermen. TNT ended up with 13 triples in Game 1, definitely slowing down after a hot first quarter. But the work was doen and the KaTropa have a 1-0 lead for it.   16 Total points for Terrence Jones in the first quarter. The leading Best Import candidate wasted little time announcing his presence in these Finals, dominating in the first 12 minutes to help TNT score a Game 1 knockout. Jones finished with 41 points in the win on top of 12 rebounds, eight assists, and three blocks.   4 At least four individual defenders from the Beermen took on Jones one-on-one in an effort to slow the TNT import down. San Miguel started with Christian Standhardinger on Jones, then Arwind Santos took on the assignment. The first quarter wasn’t even done when Kelly Nabong tried to give it a go before Chris Ross took it upon himself to guard Jones. Safe to say, at least for Game 1, San Miguel defenders got waxed by Jones in a sensational performance. How can the Beermen adjust for Game 2? That we’ll find out.   20 Total unanswered points for TNT in the first to second quarters of Game 1 that completely turned the tide in their favor. Down 17-19, the KaTropa unloaded 18 straight points to end the opening period to take a 35-19 lead. They then scored the first basket of the second quarter to complete their run and they never looked back, cruising for a 13-point victory.   9 Total turnovers for San Miguel import Chris McCullough. The Beermen had a lot of problems in Game 1, including lack of local support aside from June Mar Fajardo. But if San Miguel will be forced to rely on McCullough, who is still scoring almost at will in these playoffs, the least that could happen if for him to limit his turnovers and not disrupt his own team’s momentum. The Beermen had 18 turnovers in Game 1, half from their import. Game 2 is on Wednesday at the Big Dome.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 5th, 2019

Report: Tyus Jones signs offer sheet with Grizzlies staff report Timberwolves point guard Tyus Jones has signed a three-year, $24-million offer sheet with the Grizzlies, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Sunday (Monday, PHL time). Timberwolves RFA Tyus Jones has agreed to a contract offer sheet with the Memphis Grizzlies, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 8, 2019 The Timberwolves, who took Jones with the 24th pick out of Duke in the 2015 draft, will have 48 hours to match. Get your first look at the NBA’s top Rookies during NBA Summer League LIVE on NBA League Pass! Jones is averaging 5.1 points and 3.3 assists in his NBA career. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 8th, 2019

No extra drama needed for Nuggets, Blazers in Game 7

By Sekou Smith, DENVER -- All the posturing you can muster won’t win you this all-important game. No amount of name-calling, shoving, screaming, shouting or tough guy antics and gestures will save you when it’s all on the line in Game 7 of the NBA playoffs. And there are enough guys playing for both the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers that know it, even if most of them have only observed a Game 7 from the stands or even further afar. [Watch the Playoffs on NBA League Pass for 30% less with this limited time offer! Select Annual package and use code SAVE30 at checkout to redeem] It’s a simple proposition, these Game 7 affairs. You win, you play on. Your season continues and all of the goals you set are still attainable. You lose, you’re done. None of the things you believed in before that last opening tip of the season remain. Pack up your stuff and head home for the summer. That’s the reality, the fate both the Nuggets and Trail Blazers are facing Sunday afternoon (Monday morning, PHL time) at Pepsi Center, the all-important Game 7 showdown in the Western Conference semifinals that will define one team’s season and render the other’s mute. There’s a finality to it, a certain air of drama that cannot be found anywhere else in the postseason. So it doesn’t matter if you have “sassy *** dudes, frontrunners,” as Blazers reserve guard Seth Curry put it after things got chippy late in Game 6 Thursday night (Friday, PHL time), one side or broadcast talent on the other taking cheap and unnecessary shots at injured Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, Sunday afternoon's (Monday, PHL time) business is an up-and-down affair for all involved. Win and you play on or lose and you’re done. “I’m looking forward to Game 7,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “Games 7s are special.” No extracurricular activity from either side will change that fact. “Both teams want to win the game,” said Nuggets center Nikola Jokic. “Basketball is an emotional game. Of course, we’re going to talk trash or whatever. Both teams just want to win the game.” That doesn’t mean you don’t look for every advantage possible to help fuel your cause. Blazers big man Zach Collins played a huge role in making sure this series found its way to Game 7, joining Rodney Hood in providing a huge boost off the bench in Game 6. And it was more than just his season-high 29 minutes and playoff career-high 14 points and five blocks. It was his physicality and activity around the rim and in the paint on both ends of the floor, his refusal to allow the Nuggets to find a groove. “We’ve just got to go in and keep playing our game,” Collins said. “I said it after the game, [Denver] has been way too comfortable for a lot of games in this series and [in Game 6] we made them a little uncomfortable. We just need to continue that, regardless of if it’s a Game 7 or not. Obviously, it’s win or go home for both teams. It’s going to be very difficult, especially in [Denver] to go in and get a win, but we can do it.” The Nuggets leaned on their sterling 34-7 record at Pepsi Center during the regular season, the best home mark in the league, as a confidence booster two weeks ago. “We have the best home court advantage in the NBA,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “We’re going to rely on that once again and try to close it out in Game 7.” The Nuggets owning that recency advantage: they needed a Game 7 win here to survive the San Antonio Spurs in the first round, means something. The game and that series provided lessons Malone’s postseason rookies need to tap into this time around, even if they don’t realize it now. “It’s weird,” Nuggets guard Jamal Murray said. “Everybody keeps talking about experience. And I just want to say that we’ve been here before. [We go] back home and regroup like we did for San Antonio, come back with energy and just … be ready to play. I think we had too many lapses [in Game 6]. Dame [Lillard] felt really comfortable, he wasn’t comfortable last time, so we need to be tougher on him … like I said, just regroup, come back and get a win.” If only it was that simple. The pressure to get out of the first round is one thing. The opportunity to make the conference finals is a different monster. The Nuggets last played in a conference final in 2009, when Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Kenyon Martin, J.R. Smith and Nene led the way. That group had a mix of seasoned pros who had championship (Billups) and extensive experience (Billups and Martin) competing on a championship level, to go along with younger and emerging superstar talent like Anthony. And they were ultimately no match for the Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol-led Los Angeles Lakers. So these current Nuggets are well within their right to acknowledge the very real anxiety that comes with a game of this magnitude. “No nerves, “Jokic said. “I just felt something different the first game of the playoffs because it was something different. Just because we call it the playoffs, Besides that, everything else is the same.” The Blazers haven’t seen a Game 7 since a 2003 first-round series against Dallas. But they do not believe the absence of experience in this case makes any bit of difference. “It’s just another game -- a game we want to win, obviously,” Blazers guard CJ McCollum said. “We understand what’s at stake. Somebody’s got to go home. Somebody’s got to go to Cabo, go to Cancun, as Chuck [Barkley] would say. For us, it’s go out there and compete, find the coach’s game plan, understanding that it’s going to be a pretty hostile crowd and they’ll be confident at home, but we’ve got to bring the energy and pressure just like we did [in Game 6].” Damian Lillard has guided his team this far and promised to stick to the basics in the days and hours leading up to the game. Rested bodies and minds are crucial. “The number one thing is have our minds right,” he said. “Don’t overthink, don’t make some big crazy deal or anything like that. We’re going to play a basketball game. It’s a big game and we’ve won on their floor before and we know what type of mentality we had when we did that. We’ve got to go out there, be tough, be physical, be sharp in our scouting report, play for each other, play with each other on both ends and just put the pressure on them. “Make them earn everything on their offensive end and then when we get the ball, make sure that we get shots up,” Lillard continued with his simple but extremely detailed breakdown of what needs to be done. “Value every possession, don’t go out there turning the ball over, playing into their hands where they get an opportunity to get their crowd involved. So that has to be our mentality, to just be sharp, be physical, go in there ready to take the game, because the only way it’s going to happen is us going in there and taking it.” It’s a Game 7, after all, no extra drama needed. Sekou Smith is a veteran NBA reporter and NBA TV analyst. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 12th, 2019

LOOK: Jericho Rosales and Kim Jones are fun and fierce at the ABS-CBN Ball 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Jericho Rosales and wife Kim Jones walked the red carpet of the ABS-CBN Ball on Saturday, September 14. This is the first time in a while that the two attended the ball together. Jericho flew solo during the past two editions of the ball. Jericho wore an ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 14th, 2019

PVL: Sobrang nakaka-proud sila –- Pablo on Motolite win

Motolite didn’t get chance to buy injured main hitter Myla Pablo a cake to celebrate her 26th birthday in advance Wednesday night. They actually didn’t need that, as they gave Pablo a much better birthday gift when Motolite rediscovered its winning ways to defeat streaking BanKo in a hard-fought five set victory in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Pablo watched from the sidelines as Motolite outlasted the Perlas Spikers, 25-16, 25-21, 19-25, 29-31, 19-17, to move up to second spot with a 5-2 win-loss record tied with PetroGazz.  “We can’t afford a cake today, all the shops are closed,” said Motolite coach Godfrey Okumu. “The game, I give it to her as a present.” Pablo, who suffered a right metatarsal sprain last Sunday in Motolite’s straight sets loss to PetroGazz, was in crutches as she showed her support to her teammates despite being reduced to merely a spectator. The open spiker turns 26 Thursday. Without Pablo, a two-time Most Valuable Player, hitters Tots Carlos, Isa Molde and Bern Flora – who filled in her spot – stepped up big time for Motolite. “Sobrang happy kasi halos lahat gumawa, middle namin, mga open spikers namin – sina Isa, Tots, lalo na si Flora – grabe sobrang nakaka-proud sila,” said Pablo, who will be out for at least a week. “Alam ko naman na ibinigay nila ‘yung best nila, lalo sa fifth set, nakita ko ang puso nila maglaro.” Pablo particularly praised Flora, who had an all-around game with 17 points, 18 digs and 17 excellent receptions. “Actually sinabi sa akin ni Flor ‘yun [birthday gift ‘yung game]. Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Galingan mo, ha? Andito lang ako sa tabi mo, akong bahala sa’yo. Basta paluin mo lang nang paluin. ‘Wag kang mag-iisip ng kung anu-ano, maglaro ka lang,’” Pablo said. “Nakaka-touch lang kasi ‘yung mga teammates ko inaalay nila sa akin ‘yung game,” she added. “Sobrang nakaka-proud talaga as in. Kasi alam namin na kailangan namin manalo kasi syempre sayang ‘yung ibang panalo namin.” Pablo was also glad that her injury wasn’t serious and would only require a few days of rest. “Actually, pagaling na ako, nakakalakad na rin ako,” said Pablo. “Kailangan ko magsaklay para mabilis gumaling, kasi kung lakad ako nang lakad mabubugbog.” “Sobrang pwersa ko rin noong bumwelo ako noong game namin as in bumigay, lumabas ang buto ko pero naibalik naman. Alam mo ‘yung feeling na kinabahan ka kasi akala ko injury na naman sa likod, sa tuhod. Pero thank God naman lahat ng MRI ko clear lahat,” Pablo added. Pablo is expected to return in the second round and will miss Motolite’s end of first round match against ChocoMucho on Sunday.     --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 12th, 2019

Mutual respect grows for Baldwin, Ayo after Ateneo-UST thriller

    MANILA, Philippines – The early top-team showdown between the Ateneo Blue Eagles and UST Growling Tigers turned out to match the pre-game hype, and then some. The two-time defending champions – the epitome of methodical dominance at the collegiate level – had to dig deep to squeeze out a ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 11th, 2019

US Open champ Andreescu is WTA s No. 5; Medvedev 4th in ATP

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — A year ago at this time, Bianca Andreescu was ranked outside the WTA's top 200 after losing in the first round of U.S. Open qualifying. Look at her now. Thanks to winning her first Grand Slam title at Flushing Meadows, Andreescu jumped 10 spots to a career-high No. 5 in the rankings on Monday, while Ash Barty again replaced Naomi Osaka at No. 1. Andreescu's 6-3, 7-5 victory over Serena Williams in the final on Saturday continued the 19-year-old Canadian's rapid rise from 178th at the end of last season. She is the first woman in the Open era, which began in 1968, to win the U.S. Open in her main-draw debut at the tournament. This was only her fourth career appearance at any Slam. "I don't think I was ever as composed as I am now, or even a year ago. I would get really down on myself and I would get very negative thoughts going through my mind. I would smash rackets. I'd just yell at myself during matches. Actually not even during matches, even during practice, too," Andreescu said. "But I found that that way wasn't working to my advantage at all. So I started ... seeking some advice from other people," she said. "Ever since then, I've been trying to have a very positive outlook on everything. I think that's really been helping me, even in tough situations." Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, slid from No. 8 to No. 9 after losing in the U.S. Open final for the second consecutive year — and finishing as the runner-up for the fourth time in the past six majors. Osaka, the 2018 champion in New York, and Barty both lost in the fourth round. That allowed Barty to move up from No. 2, and Osaka dropped to No. 4. Barty already briefly was No. 1 after winning the French Open in June for her first major championship. Karolina Pliskova is No. 2, and Elina Svitolina is No. 3. Three Americans made big moves in Monday's rankings: 15-year-old Coco Gauff went up 34 places to 106th after reaching the third round before losing to Osaka, Kristie Ahn moved up 48 to 93rd and Taylor Townsend rose 33 to 83rd. U.S. Open men's champion Rafael Nadal stayed at No. 2 in the ATP rankings and closed the gap between him and No. 1 Novak Djokovic, the defending champion who exited in the fourth round. Runner-up Daniil Medvedev is up to a personal-best No. 4 from No. 5 after reaching his first Grand Slam final, where he erased a big early deficit and pushed Nadal to five sets before losing to the Spaniard 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 in a match Sunday that lasted nearly five hours. Nadal collected his fourth trophy in New York and his 19th Grand Slam title in all, moving within one of Roger Federer's record for men. Federer remained at No. 3 in Monday's rankings after losing in the quarterfinals while bothered by a bad back. The man who beat him in five sets before losing to Medvedev in the semifinals, Grigor Dimitrov, went from No. 78 to No. 25. The other man who lost in the semifinals, 23-year-old Matteo Berrettini, rose 12 spots to a career-best 13th......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 10th, 2019

PVL: Angels dominate Motolite for fourth straight win

PetroGazz took advantage of Motolite losing main scorer Myla Pablo to a foot injury in the second set to eke out a 25-21, 25-16, 28-26, victory and extend its winning streak to four on Sunday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. The trio of Jonah Sabete, Jeanette Panaga and Cherry Nunag spearheaded the Angels’ assault to improve to 5-2 win-loss card tied with BanKo at second spot behind unbeaten Creamline (8-0). Sabete fired 14 points with 12 coming off attacks, Panaga finished with 13 markers while Nunag got 10 points for PetroGazz, which snapped Motolite’s four-game winning streak. The Angels had to weather Motolite’s late rally in the third set after coming back from a 22-24 deficit. Motolite even took two set point advantages before Sabete and Nunag scored back-to-back hits to seal the win. “Siguro ‘yung maturity na lang talaga ng mga players and yung composure ang gumana kanina sa crucial point,” said Angels coach Arnold Laniog. The Angels faced stiff resistance from Motolite in the opening set behind Pablo before hanging tough in the end to take the match lead. Motolite engaged PetroGazz in a see-saw battle in the second before Pablo went down grimacing in pain after hurting her right foot while trying to jump for a kill with her squad trailing, 9-10. Pablo was stretchered off the court and had her foot iced. Initial findings revealed that Pablo suffered a metatarsal sprain and is set to undergo X-Ray and further examinations.    She sat out the remainder of the game and had 10 points including nine kills.   “’Yung moment na nadoon pa siya tralagang unstoppable siya. Sabi ko nga sa mga players, ‘Nababasa natin siya pero bakit di natin mahuli? May time naman na once maka-establish tayo ng block natsi-check natin pero kapag di naka-establish ang taas ng porsyento na makapatay,’” said Laniog. “’Yun nga nangyari ang di natin inaasahan siguro nag-favor na lang sa amin. Although ayaw natin, tinake advantage na lang ng mga players namin na nawalan sila [ng main scorer],” he added. “Si Myla di talaga bumababa ng 20 points every game kumbaga nawala ang no. 1 main scorer nila.” Tots Carlos got 10 markers while Isa Molde and Bern Flora had seven each for Motolite, which slid to 4-2 card.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 8th, 2019

PVL: Tigresses through to the semis

University of Sto. Tomas averted disaster as the Tigresses displayed mental toughness at crunch time to beat Far Eastern University, 25-14, 25-17, 10-25, 23-25, 15-12, and secure a Final Four slot in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Collegiate Conference Group B at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan on Sunday. Eya Laure and rookie Imee Hernandez delivered the goods and powered UST to its fourth straight win in as many games. The Tigresses can complete a sweep of pool play on Saturday against NCAA champion Arellano University. Laure registered 18 points with 14 from attacks, three aces and a kill block while Hernandez got 14 markers including two in UST’s closing 6-2 scoring binge in the fifth frame. Rachelle Roldan scored 10 points Grace Vernaiz and Joyce Abueg combined for 15 points for the Espana-based squad, who hammered down 56 attack points. UST flirted with disaster after allowing the Lady Tamaraws to comeback from two sets down. FEU erased a 7-4 UST lead and even went up 10-9 before the Tigresses’ escape. Head coach Kungfu Reyes was just glad that his wards responded well to the challenge and displayed great character under pressure.        “Those things na ginagawa namin sa ensayo lalabas in real game so yun na yun. Yung test of character, yun ang pinakaimportante,” said Reyes.     The Lady Tams took a 10-9 lead after an Abueg attack error but Laure answered with an off the block hit that sparked a 5-0 blitz capped by a kill block by Hernandez to push UST at match point, 14-10. FEU countered with two straight points before Angel Cayuna sent her service short to end the duel. The Lady Tams fell to 2-2 slate tied with Arellano U behind second-running College of St. Benilde (3-1) and are on the brink of missing the semis cut. France Ronquillo finished with 16 points while Czarina Carandang and Jeanette Villareal posted 12 and 10 markers, respectively, for FEU, which will need to win over Lyceum of the Philippines University next week and hope that Arellano and CSB will drop their respective last assignments to force a playoff for the last Final Four seat. Meanwhile, LPU barged in the win column after cruising past TIP, 25-6, 25-15, 25-14, in the other Group B pairing. Alexandra Rafael and Joan Doguna scored 11 points each while mary Joy Onofre had 10 markers for the 1-3 Lady Pirates,who kept the Lady Engineers winless in four games.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 8th, 2019

UAAP 82: Brent Paraiso gets one over good friend Ricci Rivero

One of the first games Ricci Rivero and Brent Paraiso played for their respective new teams was up against one another. Then in the 2018 Milcu Got Skills Elite Showcase, Rivero led the University of the Philippines to a 73-69 triumph over Paraiso and University of Sto. Tomas. On Saturday at Araneta Coliseum, the former teammates in De La Salle University finally faced off in the UAAP. And there, Paraiso turned the tables on his good friend, helping the Growling Tigers send a statement with a big-time takedown of Fighting Maroons. Of course, Paraiso, ever the defensive specialist, was the primary defender on Rivero. "I've been playing with him since grade school so basically alam ko na kung paano siya maglaro. Na-match up lang kami today so laban muna," the former said. UST's transferee was a big part in limiting UP's transferee to four points in 1-of-10 shooting to go along with six turnovers. Even so, Rivero said he is nothing but glad for his good friend. "I'm really happy for Brent. I'm really happy we got to play together again," he said. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 7th, 2019

Hall of Fame: Jack Sikma s reverse pivot clears lane to induction

By Steve Aschburner, SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- When Jack Sikma officially enters the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Friday night (Saturday, PHL time), one of his presenters will be Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Which is a terrific example of game recognizing game. Or in this case, move recognizing move. Just as Abdul-Jabbar ranks as the NBA’s most prolific scorer and arguably its greatest player ever, so does his signature sky hook loom as the league’s most famous individual move. Most unstoppable, too, and for defenders, most deflating. Well, Sikma had a signature move of his own, one that helped elevate him from an NAIA program at Illinois Wesleyan to seven NBA All-Star appearances, a championship with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1979 and now to the brink of his craft’s highest honor. It was the reverse pivot or inside pivot, which were its names when it was an arcane maneuver used by a small number of big men, taught mostly at the sport’s lower levels. Once Sikma learned it in 1974, brought it with him to the NBA in 1977 and helped the Sonics reach The Finals as a rookie and win the championship a year later, though, it swiftly became known as his: The Sikma move. “It was just an experiment after my freshmen season,” Sikma said Thursday (Friday, PHL time) at the Hall, after being introduced at a news conference as one of the Class of 2019’s 12 honorees. Others being inducted this weekend: coach Bill Fitch; NBA stars Bobby Jones, Sidney Moncrief and Paul Westphal; as well as WNBA legend Teresa Weatherspoon. Longtime Warriors player, coach and executive Al Attles was elected as a contributor. NBA center and current Sacramento GM Vlade Divac was chosen by the international committee. Being honored posthumously are: guard Carl Braun, a star in the 1950s; and Chuck Cooper, the first black player drafted by an NBA team (Boston, 1950). Finally, there are two college team entries: the Wayland Baptist women’s teams from 1948-82 and the Tennessee A&I teams from 1957-59. Divergent paths, compelling stories all. Including the one about the slender, blond kid from Kankakee, Illinois, whose offensive game needed a makeover. “My college coach [Dennie Bridges] and I sat down and he said, ‘Jack, you’ve just got to be more effective in the post if you want to take the next step.’ I was a good shooter – I’d learned the game as a wing and grew late, so I was comfortable facing the basket. “He had a friend who suggested, ‘Hey, down in southern Illinois there are some coaches who do an inside pivot with their guys to face the hoop. It might create a little space for Jack.’ I was really thin – I just wanted to get dislodged from the defender.” Basically, Sikma choreographically held a mirror to the post-up moves of traditional centers of the time. Holding the ball with his back to the basket, rather than turning on his pivot foot to the outside and attacking over his shoulder, he would spin to the inside. That motion would set up him a few feet back, facing the hoop, allowing for a simple hop and shot. And then there's this priceless Hubie Brown interview, in which Sikma teaches the move:  “A lot of coaches would pooh-pooh it because you’re catching the ball in one spot and then you’re stepping three feet farther away from the basket,” Sikma said. “That’s not the concept of big-men play, right? But I’ve got to hand it to Coach. He said, ‘Jack, I think this is it.’ And I said, ‘I’m not uncomfortable with the pivot.’” Sikma went from averaging 15.4 points as a freshman to 20.3 as a sophomore, with his shots increasing from 14.5 per game to 17.9. By his senior season, he averaged 27.0 points. As Sikma honed it in the NBA, at 6-foot-11, he would hold the ball above his head with a high release point that gave him the option of flipping up his shot or faking, then powering inside. In 14 seasons, by Sikma’s count, he played against 15 Hall of Fame centers, including Abdul-Jabbar. So he wanted every edge he could get. “You didn’t know which way he was going to go with it,” said fellow inductee Bobby Jones, a Sikma contemporary known for his defensive prowess. “Most of the time he would go back and shoot that shot, but sometimes he would go forward and draw the contact. I was just sitting there thinking, with all the other [inductees], if I ever blocked his shot. And I don’t think I ever did.” Jones, at 6-foot-9, matched up with him early in Sikma’s career (when Sikma was cast as a power forward for Seattle). Later, Jones had to decide how much help to give the teammate guarding Sikma. “The only thing I could ever have done was maybe come from behind and get him,” Jones said. “But he was a pretty good passer too. To ever leave your man that much, there’s a danger there.” Opponents weren’t the only ones made uncomfortable by Sikma’s unusual tactic. “I know I surprised some of the officials because I got called for traveling a few times,” Sikma said. “And I said, ‘Nope, I’m not traveling. I’ve got my foot up in the air, I plant it and then I pivot on it. By stepping out, that creates the space.’ “So even though it was a long time ago, they had film. They checked it out and they realized it wasn’t a walk. But I got called two or three times doing it.” Sikma laughed, recalling chatty Sonics teammate Fred Brown pleading his case for him to some of the referees. “I’d get called and Fred was in the ref’s face, ‘That’s his move! That’s his move! It’s not a travel,” Sikma said. “Fred had seen it enough in practice and figured it out.” Sikma had another facet to his game with which current NBA fans might be more familiar: he was a protypical “stretch 5.” Said Sidney Moncrief, another 2019 Hall newcomer who played for Milwaukee before and after Sikma was traded there for his final five seasons: “People don’t remember this about Jack Sikma, but Don Nelson was the first coach who started emphasizing 3-point shots for big men. He put Jack on the perimeter to take the big men out of the lane so we could make plays.” Not unlike current Bucks center Brook Lopez, Sikma underwent a late-career transformation as a deep threat. In his first 11 seasons, Sikma took 68 3-pointers and made seven (10.3 percent). During his final three seasons – from age 33 to 35 – Sikma shot 550 times from behind the arc and made 196 (35.6 percent). Still, it’s the quick inside step about 10 feet from the hoop that puts Sikma in a select subset of Hall of Famers already enshrined and those who will be. Call it the Alcove of Famous Moves. Hakeem Olajuwon’s “Dream Shake,” Kevin McHale’s up-and-under, George Gervin’s finger roll, Dominique Wilkins’ double-pump reverse, Allen Iverson’s crossover, Dirk Nowitzki’s one-legged fadeaway and Abdul-Jabbar’s sky hook will be joined, in time, by James Harden’s step-back 3-pointer, Manu Ginobili’s Euro-step, LeBron James’ chase-down block and Steph Curry’s long range pull-up 3. Each became or has become a signature move. But that only matters if the idea works. “They made it look good, so it was effective,” Sikma said. “If I tried to do the sky hook, if I tried to do the up-and-under, you’d probably think, ‘Meh, that’s not such a good move.’ A lot of it has to do with how effective a person is doing it.” The 2019 Enshrinement Ceremony at Springfield’s Symphony Hall will air on NBA TV Friday (Saturday, PHL time) beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 6th, 2019

FIBA: Can Gilas pull the rug from under Tunisia?

It's been very difficult watching Gilas Pilipinas play at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China. They've put out the effort, sure, but the execution on both ends has left a lot to be desired and it's pretty clear that the team has paid for the laughably short preparation time they were given. Now let's look at the general positional matchups we can expect against Tunisia. BIGS Philippines: Andray Blatche, June Mar Fajardo, Troy Rosario, Raymond Almazan, Japeth Aguilar Tunisia: Salah Mejri, Mohamed Hadidane, Mokhtar Ghyaza, Makram Ben Romdhane, Mohamed Abbassi If our bigs had a hard time against Yanick Moreira and Valdelicio Joaquim of Angola, then boy are they gonna find the going rough against Salah Mejri of the Dallas Mavericks and Makram Ben Romdhane, who plays for France's Saint-Chamond Basket. The 7'1" Mejri has been an absolute beast in China, averaging around 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game, and he will give Andray Blatche, June Mar Fajardo, and Japeth Aguilar plenty to handle in the paint. Ben Romdhane has been great, too, as a complimentary piece to Mejri who's able to grab a lot of rebounds.  WINGS Philippines: Gabe Norwood, RR Pogoy, CJ Perez Tunisia: Michael Roll, Ziyed Chennoufi, Omar Mouhli, Radhouane Slimane Maccabi Tel-Aviv wingman Michael Roll will be the one to watch at the perimeter. The 6'5" shooter will be a tough match-up for the struggling Gabe Norwood and RR Pogoy, and I just hope Roll doesn't pop the cap for 20+ points against us. If he does, it'll be another long night for Gilas.  Needless to say, we'll need another big outing from breakout player CJ Perez to keep in-step with Tunisia and be in a position to win when the clock reaches the waning minutes. If Perez gets cold, too, we're an easy KO for Tunisia. GUARDS Philippines: Paul Lee, Kiefer Ravena, Robert Bolick, Mark Barrocca Tunisia: Omar Abada, Nizar Knioua, Mourad El Mabrouk The challenge for our inconsistent guards will be trying to stop the duo of Omar Abada and Mourad El Mabrouk. Abada is a speedster with great court vision, and he has a knack for finding Tunisia's bigs in easy spots to score. As for El Mabrouk, he's a streaky shooter, and if he gets going, we'll be in a world of hurt.  I want to personally see a strong bounce back effort from Kiefer Ravena. He's had a lot of ups and downs in the World Cup, but a breakout performance here will silence the critics and help our chances of maybe still clinching that Olympic berth. COACHING Philippines: Yeng Guiao Tunisia: Mario Palma.  Coach Palma isn't a stranger to Asian basketball. In fact, if memory serves, he's not a stranger to Coach Yeng, too. Both Coach Yeng and Coach Palma were at the 2009 FIBA Asia Cup in Tianjin, where coach Yeng's Philippines lost to coach Palma's Jordan in the KO quarterfinals. Jordan would eventually bag third place and qualify for the 2010 FIBA World Cup in Turkey. If Coach Yeng remembers that, then that would be great motivation to win today and get one back against his former tormentor. OVERALL We are not favored against Tunisia, at least judging by how they very nearly qualified to the second round had they beaten Puerto Rico two nights ago. Mejri will give us a lot of problems, especially if our interior defense remains lethargic, and it'll be a challenge guarding their shooters if our perimeter rotations are still bogged down. Still, a good shooting night and having minimal turnovers will help our chances at springing an upset. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 6th, 2019

Record-chasing Serena powers into 10th U.S. Open final

    NEW YORK, USA – Serena Williams cruised into a 10th US Open final as she brushed aside 5th seed Elina Svitolina, 6-3, 6-1, to claim a record-equaling 101st win at Flushing Meadows Thursday, September 5 (Friday, September 6, Manila time). Williams is seeking a 24th Grand Slam singles title to match ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 6th, 2019

ONE Championship: Engaged Gina Iniong eyes November return amid wedding preps

  Gina "Conviction" Iniong yearns to get back to competition when ONE Championship returns to Manila for ONE: MASTERS OF FATE on 8 November at the Mall Of Asia Arena.   “Conviction” took a split decision victory in her last bout against Malaysian star Jihin "Shadow Cat" Radzuan in February on the undercard of ONE: CLASH OF LEGENDS in the latter’s home country.    It has been more than a year since Iniong last saw action inside the Circle on her home soil.  Eager to get at least one more bout before the year ends, the 29-year-old is sitting beside the phone waiting to get a call from the big bosses of The Home Of Martial Arts for her next conquest.  “I really hope to compete in November here in Manila. It’s been awhile since I last fought here,” Iniong said.    “I’m just waiting for it, it’s going to be easier since I’ll have more than two months to prepare.”    Iniong took a well-deserved vacation, then immediately went back to the gym after her most recent bout. But what keeps her occupied nowadays is the fact the she is about to marry her longtime partner Richard Araos in a couple of months.   “I had a short vacation, but I still train. Right now, I’m preparing for our wedding, but nonetheless I’m still waiting for my next bout,” Iniong shared.    “I’ve been engaged for a long time. We’re just fixing the papers and then we’ll determine a date. Maybe this month or the next. Depends on the schedule.”   Iniong vowed that her wedding preparations would not get in the way of her training as she continues to hope for a November match-up.    She wishes to be more active moving forward and stated that she is willing to face any names thrown at her.   “I’ll face whoever they put in front of me,” Iniong said.    “What’s important is I get back to active competition. If I had it my way, I’d like to compete three or four times a year.”     Watch the world’s best strikers at ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH on ABS-CBN S+A at 9:30pm PHT.   To catch the prelims, go to ONE’s Facebook and Twitter pages at 6:30pm PHT.   Read More From ONE Championship: Gina Iniong Survives Late Scare To Defeat Jihin Radzuan By Decision Gina Iniong Eyes Trilogy Bout With A Former ONE World Title Challenger The Best Pictures From ONE: DAWN OF HEROES  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 5th, 2019

Like a lion, Nadal beats Schwartzman to reach US Open semi

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Rafael Nadal kept pulling away in his U.S. Open quarterfinal, then getting reeled back in by Diego Schwartzman. In the first set, Nadal led 4-0 before Schwartzman got to 4-all. In the second, Nadal went up 5-1 before Schwartzman made it 5-all. Took more than two hours just for those two sets. Eventually, both were claimed by Nadal. And so, ultimately, was the match and a berth in a 33rd Grand Slam semifinal for Nadal, who prevented Schwartzman from reaching his first by winning 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 after 12:30 a.m. Thursday in Arthur Ashe Stadium. "Like a lion in the ... jungle. He's big. He's a fighter. He knows how to play the important moments, every single time," Schwartzman said. "I've played him eight times and every important moment, he played better than me." No wonder Nadal is 8-0 against the guy. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are both out of the bracket, but Nadal is still around, meaning at least one member of the Big Three is in the semis at a 62nd consecutive major tournament. That trio has combined to win the last 11 Slam trophies — and Nadal is going to be heavily favored to make that 12. None of the other men left has played in a major final, let alone won one. Nadal, though, is closing in on a fourth championship at the U.S. Open and his 19th at all majors, which would move him within only one of Federer's record for men. On Friday, Nadal will play No. 24 Matteo Berrettini, a 23-year-old from Rome who is Italy's first male semifinalist in New York since 1977. Berrettini barely got there, edging No. 13 Gael Monfils 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (5) on Wednesday. The other men's semifinal will be No. 5 Daniil Medvedev of Russia vs. 78th-ranked Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria. In the women's semifinals Thursday, Serena Williams meets No. 5 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, and No. 13 Belinda Bencic of Switzerland takes on No. 15 Bianca Andreescu of Canada. Dimitrov won a five-setter Tuesday night against Federer, who was hampered by an issue with his upper back. Medvedev won his quarterfinal in four sets against Stan Wawrinka, who had built a big lead in the fourth round against Djokovic when the defending champion stopped because of pain in his left shoulder. A year ago, it was Nadal whose body broke down: He retired from his semifinal against runner-up Juan Martin del Potro because of a bad knee. This time, on a muggy night with the humidity above 50%, the left-hander raised some concern by having a trainer come out to rub a cream into that forearm during a changeover early in the third set. At the next changeover, Nadal flexed his right forearm and was visited again by the trainer, took a salt pill and guzzled some drinks, then shook that arm between points in the following game. Afterward, Nadal said he had dealt with cramps late in the second set and early in the third. "And then I took some salt, that's all, and then it was over. The body is in good shape, I think. Not big problems," Nadal said. "Just, of course, a little tired. Long day." Still, Nadal managed to play his best when it mattered the most against the 20th-seeded Schwartzman, an Argentine serenaded by loud choruses of "Olé! Olé! Olé! Olé!" by an audience that included former San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginobili. Nadal came up with a service break in the last game of each of the opening two sets, then the last one he would need made it 4-2 in the third and he broke yet again to end it. "I don't know how," Schwartzman said, "but this guy is improving every time." Now Nadal becomes Berrettini's problem. Berrettini describes his mental coach as a big help and a best friend. They've been speaking on the phone before and after every match. And they certainly had plenty to chat about when it came to this latest victory. Berrettini double-faulted away his initial match point and then needed four more to finally put away Monfils after nearly four hours. "He told me, 'I need to thank you, because I thought that everyone is born once and dies once. But during that match, I was born and died 15 or 16 times,'" Berrettini said about his conversation with the mental coach he's worked with for several years. "I collapsed and got back up. I collapsed and got back up. That match point. Those other chances. I was down then I came back. It's a great source of pride for me." In truth, the denouement was hardly a thing of beauty, with both men, clearly spent, fighting themselves and the tension of the moment as much as the guy on the other side of the net. Monfils finished with 17 double-faults but managed to avoid any throughout the entire, exhausting fifth set until he served at 6-5 — and then he had three in that game, plus another two in the deciding tiebreaker, often doubling over between points to rest and catch his breath. "A very bad day for me, serving," Monfils said. Berrettini acknowledged the obvious afterward, too, saying he felt "a little bit tight." You think? It all was a bit of a whir. "Right now, I don't remember any points, just the (last) match point, you know?" he said. "I remember also the double-fault; I have to be honest.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 5th, 2019

AP source: Cowboys, Elliott have deal, ending long holdout

By Schuyler Dixon, Associated Press The Dallas Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott have agreed on a $90 million, six-year contract extension that will make him the NFL's highest-paid running back and end a holdout that lasted the entire preseason, a person with knowledge of the agreement said Wednesday. The breakthrough was finalized the morning of the team's first full workout before Sunday's opener at home against the New York Giants. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been announced. Elliott will get $50 million guaranteed. The $15 million-per-year average on the extension surpasses the $14.4 million Todd Gurley got from the Los Angeles Rams last summer. Gurley's guarantee was $45 million. The 41-day standoff between Dallas and the two-time NFL rushing champion came with the Cowboys holding high expectations coming off their first playoff win with Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott. They've won two NFC East titles in three seasons together. Although Prescott and receiver Amari Cooper are seeking long-term contracts in the final year of their rookie deals, getting an agreement with Elliott settles the most important issue as the Cowboys try to get past the divisional round for the first time since winning the last of the franchise's five Super Bowls during the 1995 season. Elliott held out with two years left on his rookie contract, at $3.9 million this season and $9.1 million in 2020. The fourth overall pick in the 2016 draft wanted to be the highest-paid back after getting those two rushing titles in only three years. Even when he was suspended for six games over domestic violence allegations in 2017, Elliott still had the best per-game rushing average. But the off-field issues were part of the backdrop as the stalemate dragged on, although owner and general manager Jerry Jones said more than once he didn't consider Elliott's issues a factor as it related to a new contract. Jones jokingly said "Zeke who?" in response to a question from a reporter after a second straight solid preseason showing from rookie fourth-round pick Tony Pollard in Hawaii. A few days later, though, Jones sternly said he had earned the right to joke about Elliott after the 2016 All-Pro's representatives took offense to the remark. Over the next couple of weeks, Jones took an increasingly hardline stance publicly, finally calling out Elliott for not honoring his existing contract during his radio show last week. But Elliott's agent, Rocky Arceneaux, told reporters the sides were close to a deal after Elliott landed at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Tuesday. Elliott spent almost the entire holdout in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Elliott rose to stardom as a sophomore at Ohio State during the first College Football Playoff following the 2014 season, most notably at the home of the Cowboys when he rushed for 246 yards and four touchdowns in a blowout of Oregon in the championship game. He wasted little time having an impact with the Cowboys, winning the rushing title as a rookie while Prescott earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors after Dallas won a franchise-record 11 straight games and was the top seed in the NFC. The Cowboys lost to Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay in the divisional round. After the addition of Cooper in a midseason trade last year, Prescott and Elliott got a wild-card win over Seattle following their second division title last season. The Cowboys lost to the Los Angeles Rams, falling to 0-6 in the divisional round since beating Pittsburgh in the 1996 Super Bowl. The Cowboys kept just two backs behind Elliott when they made their final cuts of the preseason: Pollard and Alfred Morris, a seven-year veteran who was Elliott's primary replacement during the suspension two years ago. Morris rejoined the club in training camp. They later added Jordan Chunn......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 4th, 2019

PVL: Cool Smashers zero in on nearing first round sweep

Defending champion Creamline tries to inch closer to a first round sweep when the Cool Smashers meet the slumping PacificTown Army on Wednesday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City,. Fancied Creamline has been dominating the competition after striking down its first six opponents and is looking to add the Lady Troopers in the list in their 4:00 p.m. duel that will air live on LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and via livestream.  Just as always Creamline will be banking on its deep arsenal bannered by three-time Most Valuable Player and league-leading scorer Alyssa Valdez, who is averaging 18.3 points per game, setter Jia Morado, Jema Galanza, Risa Sato and Michele Gumabao. Still, the Cool Smashers don’t want to put too much pressure on themselves on the prospect of sweeping the round.   “Hindi naman namin ini-expect yun. We just want to take it one game at a time,” said Morado, who is lording it over in playmaking with 6.80 excellent sets per frame. The Lady Troopers are expected to come into the match swinging to arrest at sudden skid after opening their campaign with back-to-back wins. PacificTown Army is at sixth place with a 2-2 slate and it’s up to veterans Jovelyn Gonzaga, Royse Tubino, Ging Balse and Nene Bautista to steer their campaign back on the right track.   ---    Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2019

Rafael Nadal looks good at US Open, and Tiger Woods approves

By Howard Fendrich, Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — Locked in a tight test at the U.S. Open, Rafael Nadal conjured up an over-the-shoulder, back-to-the-net flick of a volley winner that he celebrated with a leap and punch of the air. If that wasn't the shot of the match, then surely this was, a couple of points later: a cross-court backhand passing winner off an overhead by his opponent, 2014 champion Marin Cilic, good enough to earn a yell and four fist pumps from Nadal — along with an uppercut from Tiger Woods in the Arthur Ashe Stadium stands. Then again, maybe it was the sprinting, sliding, bend-it-around-the-net-post forehand winner to get to match point, which Woods loved, too. Nadal is looking healthy and hungry at Flushing Meadows so far, and he quickly broke things open against Cilic by seizing nine consecutive games for a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory in the fourth round Monday night. Asked to explain that shot on the next-to-last point, Nadal chuckled a bit and said: "It's easy to describe and difficult to make." "I hit it well," Nadal said, "but to hit that spot, of course you need some luck." The 33-year-old Spaniard reached his ninth quarterfinal in New York and 40th at all major tournaments. The No. 2-seeded Nadal, who retired from his 2018 semifinal at the U.S. Open with a knee injury, will try to get back to the final four by beating No. 20 Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals. Schwartzman advanced earlier Monday by eliminating No. 6 Alexander Zverev 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3. Nadal is attempting to claim his fourth U.S. Open championship and 19th Grand Slam trophy overall. Roger Federer holds the men's record of 20 majors. The rivals never have played each other in New York; they only could meet in the final this year. Against Cilic, who entered Monday with a 5-0 mark in fourth-round matches at Flushing Meadows, everything turned shortly after Nadal ceded a set for the first time in the tournament. As it is, he only had played two matches before this one, because his second-round opponent, Thanasi Kokkinakis, withdrew with a bad shoulder. At 2-1 in the third set, with Cilic serving, Nadal came up with that no-look volley to begin things. After Cilic missed a shot, Nadal's big backhand made it love-40. One double-fault later, that game was over — as, essentially, was the match. Cilic simply never recovered. They would go on to play for about another hour, and he managed to grab just two more games......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2019

Jimuel gets taste of defeat

Jimuel Pacquiao met his match in Ken Danila the other day as the 18-year-old son of the Filipino boxing icon tasted defeat for the first time in his young amateur career......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 2nd, 2019

Benedetto scores again as Marseille beats Saint-Etienne 1-0

By Jerome Pugmire, Associated Press Marseille beat Saint-Etienne 1-0 at home on Sunday in a match between France's two most successful league teams. Saint-Etienne has a record 10 French titles to Marseille's nine and Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco and Nantes with eight, but Marseille is the only French side to have won the Champions League in 1993. Marseille won at Stade Velodrome thanks to Argentine striker Dario Benedetto's 33rd-minute goal, his second since joining the club after scoring in the 2-1 midweek win at Nice. In his four games for Marseille, Benedetto has also smacked a penalty high over the crossbar. Marseille is up to eighth place with seven points, while Saint-Etienne is 16th with four points. RENNES STUMBLES Rennes missed the chance to go top after losing 2-1 at home to Nice. Needing only a draw to leapfrog PSG in first place, Rennes led 1-0 after defender Gautier Lloris — the younger brother of France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris — scored an own-goal midway through the first half. Midfielder Wylan Cyprien leveled from the penalty spot for Nice in the 63rd minute and defender Racine Coly netted two minutes into injury time for coach Patrick Vieira's Nice team, which was recently bought by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe. Third-place Nice is level on nine points with Rennes and defending champion PSG, which leads on goal difference after winning 2-0 at Metz on Friday. OTHER MATCHES Monaco is in 19th place and still without a win this season after being held 2-2 away to Strasbourg, conceding a late equalizer after new signing Islam Slimani of Algeria twice put Monaco ahead. Highly rated forward Rémi Oudin scored as Reims won 2-0 at home to midtable Lille to move into sixth place......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 2nd, 2019